Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Devouring Books: French Milk by Lucy Knisley
I finally, finally bought it when I needed a yoghurt pot for work (I party hard) and amazon would only sell me it if I ordered £20 worth of stuff. It cost £3.50 (fuck you SO much, amazon), so of course I took the opportunity to order a couple of books as well, because you know. I'm me. I got French Milk on the Friday and by about 11am on the Saturday morning I had completely devoured it, fitting to both its subject matter and, y'know, my blog name and all. But it was so good it was hard to stop reading, and also, comic books are fast to read. Duh.
French Milk is essentially a travel diary of a 6 week trip Knisley and her mother took to Paris when she was 21(she turns 22 on the trip). The blurb of the book tries to sell it as a journey where a mother and daughter communicate and bond and learn about each other as grown ups, and there is definitely some of that, but Knisley knows what the people really want, and that is food and presents and tourism and shopping.
That's right. Ignore the ruminations about her future, the d&ms with her mother about boys and fiscal responsibility, and the weird post birthday depression Knisley draws that actually I fully related to (does anyone else deflate like a balloon for a little bit after their birthday?). This book is all about the things they eat, the things they see, and the things they buy in Paris. Considering the fact that basically my favourite part of any book is descriptions about food and also Christmases because they get presents and describe them (hence why Little Women is one of my favourites because two Christmases!) this makes French Milk pretty much my ideal comic book. And also, have I mentioned how much of a burning desire I have to go to Paris of late? Because I do. It is very burny. In... a good way!
So, yes. French Milk was exactly as great as I expected a Knisley book to be, and just like Relish it made me want to 1) read everything she's written, and 2) be her friend forevs. 1) is perhaps the more attainable goal (definitely asking for Something New for Christmas) but don't tell me 2) can't happen because I just don't need that kind of negativity in my life. Go and do something positive for yourself, and go and read French Milk.
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This is one of my favorite books! I read it for some readathon and then promptly ordered several copies to send to girlfriends I thought would relate. It's just so good and so real (as lame as that sounds). I think I read most of her library after that. And I totally feel you on the after-birthday sadness. It's a real struggle because you're not getting ALL the love from every person you've ever known anymore. Haha. Hope you're well, lady!ReplyDelete
It's very real though! It's like, this is how I would write my holiday diary if I could draw and was more of an interesting person hahaha. It's just very like simple but excellent and at the heart of life, I think. Or something like that hahaDelete
This (and Relish) sounds excellent and like the type of comic I could actually get into.ReplyDelete
Yesssssssss Alley. Definitely give them a go! Relish is prettier because, like, colour, but this is really great because, like, holiday diary! Or both. Both is good.Delete
I read Something New a bit ago, and it was thoroughly delightful. Less food talk, sadly, but I still enjoyed it more than I did French Milk, and I liked French Milk immensely. Basically: Lucy Knisley 4ever.ReplyDelete
Lucy Knisley 5ever and ever! I am not buying books now until next year (I know) otherwise I would have immediately bought it, as it is I'm excited for Christmas hahahaDelete
I think this is maybe my least favourite Knisley so far? I fully appreciated all the great bits, like book shopping at S+Co and eating pastries and sitting in cafes and wandering Paris, and also that random photo of baby bunnies at the market, but... I dunno. It felt a bit whiny compared to her other books. Not depressed, so much, more "I'm going to moan at everyone around me and sulk over here and generally ruin Paris for myself and my family BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT SO SUCK IT". Maybe that was just me. Was I depressed when I read it? I CAN'T REMEMBER. Maybe I was grumpy that week and projecting. Anyway, I liked French Milk. I really liked Relish. I loved Age of License. And I REALLY want to read Something New and get her take on weddingy shizzle because my inner romcom queen is rampant right now, but my local Waterstones doesn't have it yet and it's FIFTEEN QUID WHAT. I'm so glad I contributed so wisely to this comments section.ReplyDelete
P.S. Is it just me or is Knisley a tiiiiny bit Nora-ey? Like, sassy and down to earth and not afraid of delicious food?
I feel like she has moments of grumpiness and maybe a tad bit of self absorption, but I also feel like it's important to bear in mind that she was 21/22 when she wrote it, which can evoke a lot of self-absorption in a human! I kind of liked the fact that she wasn't just like 'this is the greatest thing in the world!' because it was more realistic that she's a human, and was excited by this great opportunity but also like has moods and, honestly, even if something's great it's difficult to be continually enthusiastic about it for like 6 weeks so really, I just see it as honesty rather than grumpiness.Delete
HOWEVER I can also see how, if you're in a temperamental state already, it can totally bring you down so (of course) your opinion is valid also.
Ohhhhh, I need Age of License too. And definitely Something New, but YES THAT £15 THING. Hence the Christmas thing haha. And yes I totally see the Nora thing! Just intelligent women being awesome and writing stuff.